Why essential oils must be high quality
It’s simple. Within one minute of inhalation, the tiny molecules that make up the aroma of an essential oil will have travelled around every organ in the body. Purity matters, especially when essential oils are being considered for their therapeutic properties.
It’s an unfortunate fact that there are no industry standards for the actual quality and purity of essential oils. The only standard is that there must be 10% of the actual oil in a bottle in order to be labelled ‘100% pure’. This means some essential oils are often not what they are reputed to be.
The best essential oils are from plants which are organically grown (or wild crafted) and extracted by a process called steam distillation – a large number of plant parts are used to produce a relatively small quantity of oil. To produce 1 kg of Rose Otto oil (Rosa damascena), 5 tonnes of rose petals are needed! Rose oil is therefore very expensive and may be ‘cut’ with another cheaper oil, such as geranium or palmarosa oil, and can still be labelled as ‘pure’. Other oils are often not what you expect them to be, Juniper Berry oil may be cut with turpentine – you really don’t want to be using that on skin!
Finding a trusted supplier of essential oils is very important otherwise you may be buying mostly one of the below:-
- Carrier Oil – like almond oil, vegetable oil etc
- Synthetic Oil – a chemical compound made to mimic the natural oil
- Residues of Plant – you might be getting other impurities of the plant, in addition to your oil. Example: Rose oil may come with a little leaf or stem oil as well
- Pesticides – some farmers spray their crops with pesticides that can leave residues in the essential oil.
- Toxins – depending on where it was grown, quality of air and whether chemicals were used to distil the oil.
There are several good, reputable suppliers of essential oils out there. Hedgewitch have gone to great lengths to buy essential oils from a trusted source (often directly from the producer where they are grown in the UK), batches are analysed and we know they are the genuine article, not synthetic or food grade.
Hedgewitch also offer a select range of high quality essential oils for those who would like to discover the magic of offering essential oils to their horses. For more information on the essential oils we have in stock take a look here.